Tysons Interfaith is an organization of diverse faith partners striving to create opportunities for spiritual connection, growth, learning and service with those who live, work, and play in the area previously known as Tysons Corner. We formed in response to Fairfax County’s Comprehensive plan for the Tyson’s area which envisions the development of ‘America’s Next Great City’ with 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by the year 2050. However, there are no faith communities within Tyson’s boundaries. While we recognize the challenge of fitting houses of worship into a plan for a contemporary city, we are also convinced that those within Tysons would be well-served and their quality of life enhanced by the presence of and ministries provided by a variety of faith communities.
The communities making up Tysons Interfaith began meeting in 2013. Our initial efforts focused on service projects such as raising awareness about the problem of teen sex trafficking in the area and putting together ESL classes for low-income workers in Tysons. We provided volunteer support for events such as the Tysons Tailgate (benefiting Second Story, a teen shelter) and mentoring opportunities sponsored by Northern Virginia Family Services. At the beginning of 2020, we started a series of “Community Conversations” to hear from residents directly about their ideas for building a sense of community in Tysons.
Then COVID-19 came. And with it, nation-wide protests over the killing of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans, and the long-simmering anger over unaddressed racism and intolerance in our society. The multi-pronged crises of 2020: the health, economic and social justice challenges, and the divisiveness and incivility we were witnessing in public discourse gave an added sense of urgency to our work at Tysons Interfaith.
In August 2020, we began a series of on-line discussions about what the concept of the “Oneness of Humanity” means from a variety of faith traditions. These events have been powerful and well-attended (averaging fifty participants) and led us to further explore how people of various faith traditions are called to ACT to bring about a more equitable society.
Over the years, we who volunteer with Tysons Interfaith have had our lives enhanced in so many ways: by the great friendships we have formed; by finding that our faith traditions and spiritual practices share many of the same values; by supporting one another, particularly in the face of intolerance and bigotry; and by understanding that, together, we can be a powerful voice for good in the world. In the Christian faith, we are called to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We have seen this in action at Tysons Interfaith. We hope you will join us!
This blog post is the expressed opinion of its writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tysons Interfaith or its members.